Holiday “Birthday” Cake :: From Our Family to Yours

Disclosure :: our Holiday Recipe series is sponsored by Touro Infirmary and Whole Foods Market.

Holiday “Birthday” Cake

Christmas Day is a big deal in my parents’ house. My mom has hosted for the last 31 years because not only is it Christmas, it’s my birthday and my brother’s two-days-before-his-birthday celebration. Every year, my mom makes this amazing layer cake that is not only my favorite dessert and favorite December 26th breakfast, it’s an architectural feat. It might’ve been the convincing factor to make my husband to marry me, but I’m not totally sure. We refer to it as “THE Birthday Cake.”

Holiday Post-7814Now I’ve lost you because layer cakes are WAY too intimidating. But wait, come back! The good news is, this amazing triple chocolate goodness is easily adapted to cupcake form. There, that’s better, right? Now go make some, or find someone who’s talented at baking to make these babies for you. Thank me later.


1 box German or Swiss Chocolate cake mix – follow box directions.

Chocolate Truffle

  • 1 bar Baker’s German Chocolate-broken
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 handful pecans (broken)

Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 bar Baker’s German or semisweet chocolate-broken
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (depending on how sweet you want it, you can add more)

The cake & mousse can be made ahead of time.



Bake cake following instructions. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Mousse

In a sauce pan, pour in heavy whipping cream. Add chocolate. Melt on low heat until all of the chocolate is melted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight.Holiday Post-7827

Next, shortly before assembling cake, add vanilla and sugar to chocolate whipping cream. Whip until mousse has soft peaks. Wipe down sides often to make sure all the cream is whipped evenly. Return to refrigerator to wait for assembly. (Over-whipping will turn it to chocolate curdles, which are not very good.) 

Chocolate Truffle

After whipping mousse, prepare the truffle. In the microwave or on stove top, slowly, on low heat melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally to ensure there are no hot spots. DO NOT GET THE CHOCOLATE TOO HOT. (This will cause butter to break-also not very good.) Once, melted and slightly cooled, slowly add softened butter, stirring constantly, until smooth. After all blended, add vanilla and pecans.


Cupcake form:

Holiday Post-7830Dollop a spoonful of chocolate truffle on top of each cupcake and spread around. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until hard. Then, dollop a spoonful of chocolate mousse on top of the truffle. Serve immediately or refrigerate until 10 minuted before ready to serve. 

Cake form:

Cut cake in half, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer on cake plate, add 1/2 the chocolate truffle mixture and spread evenly over cake. Add another layer of cake over the truffle, spread 1/2 the mousse over the layer of cake. Then add the third layer and the rest of the truffle. Top that with the final layer of cake and spread the remaining mousse over the top. 

The cake may have a tendency to slip, if not serving right away you may need a long wooden skewer to hold in place. Do not keep cake in refrigerator before serving, the chocolate truffle will harden and make it very difficult to cut. 

From our family to yours … ENJOY!

Remember, calories don’t count on Christmas.

chocolate truffle cake

Lindsay is a native New Orleanian, displaced only by her years at Mississippi State, where she earned a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries and a minor in English. She came home shortly after Katrina, to work as a zookeeper and be a part of the rebuilding of her beloved city. She dragged her husband Drake, a Tennessee native, along with her. Their son Bennett joined the family in 2010, and in 2014 they welcomed identical twin girls, Genevieve and Kellen Clair. She now works full-time as an Environmental Scientist while working on her Master's and serving part-time as NOM’s resident Jill of All Trades. Powered by espresso, cake, and craft beer, her happy place is on a beach or in the woods. Need to identify a plant, tree, or animal? Lindsay’s a wealth of random knowledge. She loves to cook and sprinkle a little glitter on everything.


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